Crackdown on rogue builders who disrupt neighbourhoods

Published: Thursday 13th December 18

Builders and property developers who create neighbourhood problems by hogging residents’ parking spaces with piles of building materials or cause traffic jams by using grab lorries to empty skips are to be targeted in a new crackdown on highway obstructions.

The council is stepping up enforcement action against builders who cause problems for local residents.
Since the beginning of April, almost 900 on-the-spot fines have been issued to builders for causing neighbourhood problems.

These include storing bricks, timber, piles of sand or bags of cement on the public highway, depriving local residents of parking spaces, often for days or even weeks on end.

Another problem is created by builders who do not want to pay to have skips removed when they are full of waste. Some are cutting corners by arranging for grab lorries to park in the middle of the road while they empty the skip – causing local traffic jams and lengthy tailbacks.

This is because it is easier and cheaper for a builder to get rid of rubble and waste this way rather than have the fully laden skip taken away and replaced with an empty one.

To ensure that residents no longer suffer these types of inconvenience highways inspectors have been issuing on-the-spot fines to builders found to be behaving in this way. And extra staff are now being directed to tackle these problems from other parts of the council.

Planning chairman Cllr Will Sweet said: “We have recently seen an upswing in complaints from residents about the behaviour of some builders who are acting irresponsibly and with little regard for people living near their work sites.

“Using parking spaces to store building materials or blocking the road to empty a skip with a grab lorry are two of the main concerns, which is why we are allocating additional staff to tackle this problem

“Builders who engage in this type of conduct can expect to receive an on-the-spot fine and if they don’t pay they can look forward to a day in court and the prospect of a much steeper financial penalty.”

Anyone handed a fixed penalty notice must pay £100 within 28 days. If they fail to do so they face being summonsed to appear in the magistrates court which can impose fines of up to £1,000.

Residents who wish to report any type of obstruction on the highway are being encouraged to use the council’s ‘Report It’ app which is the quickest and easiest way to raise concerns and also allows people to send in a photograph showing the problem. Alternatively they can call (020) 8871 8871 followed by option 2, then 3, then 1. 

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Recent comments

At last. Please also address noise issues . Builders in my road ignored needs of a very elderly neighbour discharged from major surgery on grounds they needed to work overnight not to pay a late completion fine. My autistic son has been much disturbed by th eloud noise made by machines for excavating basements.. Not everyone has the money or opportunity to " develop" their property. Lets keep control of builders who work Sundays and send skip collection lorries at 6 am .
Frances Shaw

20 December 2018

Great initiative although I'm having some problems with the app.
Gordon Macniven

17 December 2018

Please can the EHO sort out all the builders material and rubbish that is on the HIGHWAY pathway OUTSIDE no 1 HOUSEHOLDER ROAD. These builders who converted no 1 Holdernesse road showed a total disregard to resident and pedestrians throughout the conversion of this house and have the cheek to leave the mess behind they too should have been inspected and fined. Barrires black bags building material all left on the street right now
Sandra Francis

16 December 2018

We are very pleased the council is doing something. Road and pavement staining. Mixing cement l washing out cement mixers spilling paint is a also a big issue. I have often phoned the council to report this but nothing happens. What about the ruining of our streets with the thousands of illegal rotting estate agents boards, especially the huge commercial ones that hang over our heads. They should be banned THROUGHOUT our Borough NOW.. thank you
Mark Grant

15 December 2018

Could I add damage to tarmac when dragging the skip. I’ve seen huge scratches in the road surface.

15 December 2018

That £100 fine is far too small. That will not stop a builder from doing the same again. Should be at least £500 to be a real penalty for a builder or owner.
John Jewhurst

14 December 2018

Actually it isn't really true that it is easier and cheaper to grab: it is more environmentally friendly. The real reason is that it is easier to get clean arisings into the recycling chain and the killer is that it reduces the carbon footprint as you can get 15,000kg into a grab and only 8,000kg into a skip. So the article is a fact free zone and also a truth free zone. Sadly the obligation under the WRAP legislation was watered down so that Councils do not have a duty to promote recycling and carbon reduction but only have to consider it when making policy. The council are, as usual, being quite dishonest as this was for years a Wandsworth only hobby horse issue.

14 December 2018

Builders only do it as you, the council, charge so much for all these waste services. All brought on by the money grabbing Councils and the extortionate waste disposal charges.

14 December 2018